Captain Bligh’s Purveyor of Fine Ale, Cider &
Benjamin Franklin might have once said, beer is proof that God loves us
and wants us to be happy. Gentleman Brewer, Stephen Brooks concurs. He’s the
brewer behind Hobart’s new beer and cider phenomena, Captain Bligh’s.
|Captain Bligh's, photo courtesy of Captain Bligh's Facebook|
Partner, author and independently fabulous, Karen Brooks was struck by Stephen’s
love of beer and brewing when researching her tenth book. The couple
were in Hobart for 12 months, caring for their terminally ill friend and renown
fantasy author, Sara Douglass. Karen was writing The Brewer’s Tale, a historical fiction about ‘love, treachery and
ale in medieval England.’ She needed to immerse herself into all things brewing.
Stephen introduced her to brewers around Hobart and on the mainland and his
passion for brewing was contagious.
Karen said to me, why don’t you open up a craft brewery? And I thought,
well if you want to be pushy and unreasonable about it, I’ll do it!
Captain Bligh’s brews a very Hobart-style beer, a colonial ale. Stephen says that European settlers to Hobart loved a beer and would
bring with them as much English ale as they could get on to boats. Hobart’s
colonial economy required new enterprises to be based on local suppliers.
Ale’s four ingredients: barley, hops, water and yeast, were all
available locally. Captain Bligh’s continues the tradition, using Midland’s barley malt, Bushy Park’s world renowned
hops and some of the softest, cleanest water in the world.
Stephen makes pale ales and has his own HIPA – Hobart Indian Pale Ale.
If you don’t know, the Indian Pale Ale is a hoppy beer style with a higher
alcohol content than the standard.
Captain Bligh’s opened their doors one recent Friday night after work.
Not the biggest beer fan, I tried the cider they make. It wasn’t bitter and dry
and it wasn’t saccharin either. I’m also not huge fan of cider, but it was so
good, I went back for seconds. The Lovely Deputy enjoyed his paleys. By the
looks of it, everyone else loved the beers too. Captain Bligh’s was packed to
the rafters. Flame cake food van was also there so you could line your stomach.
Tip: The first apple tree was
planted in Adventure Bay, Bruny Island by Captain William Bligh in 1788.
Stephen started brewing in the eighties when craft beer wasn’t as
popular as it is now. He sold his first beer on 28 December 2014, at his first
stall at the Taste of Tasmania.
I thought, I hope it’s not just me that likes this beer! It went well
and we came runner up for the Best Ale for the Taste.
The business has been around three years in the making with lots of
planning, research and expert advice along the way.
And it’s true what their tagline says, they make jam: a stout and an IPA
jam. Stephen tells me they go well with cheese.
This Girl likes a jam, I like making it and eating it. So, really? Beer
jam? Like really? Is their fruit in it?
Fruit and sugar is fruit jam. Beer and sugar is beer jam.
Okay, I guess that’s a no then.
|Stephen Brooks, photo courtesy of Captain Bligh's Facebook|
Stephen’s taken the leap into the great unknown, leaving the safety of a
career in mental health to throw himself head first into his business. A
self-made man, he’s got lots of ideas so they’ll be more to come. Watch out for
more products, where beer is a food ingredient.
Captain Bligh’s is based at the Tasmanian Brewery Building. The building
was apparently constructed by George Adams of Tattersall’s fame and has been a
brewery since the 1830s.
He’ll be looking to open Captain Bligh’s doors more
nights in the future. In the meantime, they’ll be at Winter Feast for DarkMOFO.
The best way to keep up to date with the shenanigans is by following
them on Facebook. Find them on Facebook here.
They’re located at 64 Warwick Street, Hobart, down the alley on the side
of The Blackwood Shop on Elizabeth Street.